The German Altstadt is something you will find in nearly every town throughout Germany. Altstadt translates to ‘old town’ in German tongue and is a major part of the German spirit and culture. Specifically, Altstadt refers to the city centre within the walls of the town. You might also find a city centre outside of the town walls, which is called Neustadt. War in Germany has been a major part of the deterioration of Altstadt and as such these places have been turned into popular tourist attractions where visitors to Germany, as well as locals, can get a glimpse of a promising land.
The southwest German city of Heidelberg is one of the cities in the European country that have a popular, tourist filled Altstadt. Included in this Altstadt is the Heidelberg Castle, which was partially destroyed through various wars from its construction in the early 11th century all the way through to the 14th century and the Thirty Years War.
One of the most notable things of Heidelberg Altstadt is the amazing architecture. Views from atop the mountain, and even Heidelberg Castle, reveal even more beauty as church spires rise above the crowd and massive stone bridges connect both riverbanks. The view of Heidelberg is particularly impressive at night, which you can see from the Heidelberg Castle gardens. They are open throughout the night and are free to all for stunning and electrifying views of this ancient German dwelling.
Heidelberg Altstadt is a vision of relaxed and authentic beauty with its cobblestone pathways and busy courtyards. You will find many locations in the city center to enjoy outdoor dining and cafés where you can people watch and soak up the atmosphere. You can also take a guided tour of the city center that lasts around two hours. This is a great way to get to know the key attractions and points of interest on your first day so that you can spend the majority of your holiday enjoying sites rather than finding them.
If you are hoping to do some shopping, then best place to go is High Street, also known as Bismarcplatz in the local tongue. You will find a number of shops here from clothing and accessories to souvenir shops and cafes. There are also a number of convenient everyday items sold here such as toiletries and beverages.
Some key locations in the city centre include Heilggeistkirche or as it is also known, the Holy Ghost church. The church can be seen from many vantage points throughout the city and is particularly impressive from the viewpoint of Heidelberg Castle. The church is located in the market center and is open to the public for viewing. In the evening, the Holy Ghost church sometimes hosts classical music concerts for all to enjoy.
Also located in the city center area are a number of historic buildings, many constructed in Baroque style. There is also a prison for students and the corn market as well as a large number of Heidelberg hotels . The corn market is called Kornmarkt and the place to go if you are looking for the mountain train up to Heidelberg Castle. You can get off at the first stop to visit the castle or continue up the mountainside to acquire some peaceful and impressive views of Heidelberg Altstadt.
If you are visiting Heidelberg with the intention of staying and viewing all of its sites, then you should consider purchasing the HeidelbergCard. The HeidelbergCard comes with a city guide that will help you find your way around the city center. The card also provides cardholders with city discounts including a guided tour of the city at a third of the cost.
Lek Boonlert is an editor and content reviewer at DirectRooms and is responsible for all Heidelberg Hotels content.